Another lifetime ago, in a distant land called St. Paul, MN, I was lucky enough to have attended the now shuttered (and sorely missed)  College of Visual Arts. Several interrupted years of foundation studies later, I left because I didn’t have anything to say, or if I did, I didn’t know how to say it at the time. Altogether, I would attend 5 undergraduate programs before graduating from Metropolitan State University with a design-your-own B.A. in Creative Studies in 2005, having meandered through literature, k-12 education and horticulture to get there.

While not especially pedigreed, these were valuable experiences to me, and hard won, however mediocre they appear from the outside. Since then, I’ve tried my hardest to pursue relevant arts experience, though frequently off the beaten path. In 2007, I found Vesper College (or maybe it found me, I’m not sure which) in Minneapolis, undertaking an unaccredited M.F.A. in Ecological Architecture. The program was a marriage of sculpture, ecology and small architecture, led by the school’s maverick Dean, architect Dan Noyes. Because of Vesper’s influence, I became immersed and infused with constructed poetry.

Later going on to chair the board of directors for Vesper College, this very special studio school offered a platform to learn and to lead creatively within a scrappy arts organization where every individual wore all hats and the sky was the limit to what we could do with enough enthusiasm. Unfortunately, after a decade of programming, graduating only a few dozen students (here and forever known as Vesperites, you know who you are), Vesper was forced to change it’s operating model, and eventually close it’s doors altogether.

The following portfolio of images date from my time at Vesper, and the evolution of a material philosophy and aesthetic I still draw from. I have continued to develop my conceptual direction after graduating with my M.F.A in 2009, my thesis exhibition, aptly titled ‘This is an Experiment’. If you are daring enough to continue on, dear reader, you may encounter tangential spirals and ontological wrestling to make your head spin. But the brave of heart will be rewarded in the end.

Water Clock – cedar branch, catlinite, copper wire, brass bowls, water, time.

Baptismal Font – hypertufa, copper leaf, copper pipe, water.

Moon Basket – plywood, steel sheet, reed, straw, canvas, birch bark, tanned deer hide, wool, stone.

Limestone Gem – stainless steel, coroplast, found machine gear, hand-blown glass.

Accretion of Time – willow, concrete, brass, steel, cotton gauze, Epsom salts, water, time & gravity.

Unbundling the Housing Crisis – interactive game collaboration with LOOM Studio and students from the University of Minnesota’s Architecture program, exhibited at Form + Content gallery.

Guerrilla Shanty – 2010 Art Shanty Projects on Medicine Lake

“And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
               So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
               And how should I presume?”


-from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot 


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